Today abruptly marks the end. We weren't planning it that way, but winds are predicted to be high the next 2 days and paddling into high winds means difficult and dangerous water conditions. It's hard to make forward progress when the wind is pushing you back, but of bigger concern to us are the waves that are generated by the wind and the wakes from the boat traffic are made more ferocious.
We want to finish strong and without a capsize, so we're exiting the river at Croton, about 30 miles upriver from our anticipated end point at The Battery in Manhattan, NY.
Today, on one of our final rest breaks, I looked out over the Hudson, and reflected over the experiences of the past 10 days--battling 100 degree days, fighting winds and waves, bandit camping, huddling in the tent through a thunder and lightning storm, fearing another hole in a kayak or that the patch on the current foot long hole wouldn't hold. As I reflected I thought about how it all seems like a small memory already, and that I wish I would have taken more time to reflect on the journey along the way.
So much of energies and efforts on multiday adventures go toward logistical planning and as I reflected, I remember that this is true for life in general. Thinking about where you're going, how you're going to get there, how long will it take, how much food will I need? Where will I camp? Details that are important in execution but that cloud the experience when you're in it. This is true of all of my multiday adventures and it is true for life too.
Today, I found myself wishing that I had experienced it all more. Felt the exhaustion deeper, the happiness higher, the company of new friends more, and so on. I wondered if I would feel this way one day when looking back on life and knowing death was right around the corner.
But really, this adventure played out just perfectly, and I am thankful to have shared another multiday trip, this time a new-to-me adventure type, paddling, with my main adventure squeeze. I am also happy to have made a choice to live with intention and create space to reflect and feel ways about life that I don't regret. Creating these life microcosms through multi-day adventures also reminds me, and now you because you've read this far, to feel deeper all the time and reflect upon our circumstances more regularly to be sure that we are carving out a meaningful life.
So, what's your next multiday adventure going to be? And how do you reassure yourself that you're living the life you want that is fulfilling and that, one day, when reaching the end, you don't wish you had taken the time to feel deeper? Or if you're not living that life, can you? Post your thoughts and tips below.
Tim and Angel
The goat in the picture lives in Silverton, CO, and tried to kill us. We survived to bring you this dirtbag wisdom for the ages.